Spotlight on hardcourt rookies: Javee Mocon and Robert Bolick
The Philippine Basketball Association’s 44th season kicks off tomorrow at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
It will be a star-studded affair. Some of the teams’ muses include Sharon Cuneta, Yam Concepcion, Alyssa Valdez, Kylie Verzosa and Pia Wurtzbach.
The grand event will start off with the Leo Awards at 4 p.m., with intermission numbers, featuring Parokya ni Edgar, Shanti Dope and Gloc-9.
The opening match is between Ginebra San Miguel (the professional league’s most popular team) and Talk ‘N Text. Catch the festivities live on ESPN 5 and PBA Rush (on Cignal TV).
Kudos to Commissioner Willie Marcial, Sienna Olaso and their colleagues for making each basketball season more exciting than the previous one.
As a New Year treat to PBA fans, I am featuring two of this year’s prized rookies, Javee Mocon (of Rain or Shine) and Robert Bolick (North Port Batangas Pier).
Both hard court heartthrobs are definitely movie-star material. They are all set to dribble their way into the hearts of basketball-crazy Pinoys. Hip, hoops, hooray!
Here’s my chat with Javee (J) and Robert (R):
What excites and scares you about playing in the PBA?
J: It has been my dream to make it to the professional league. Now that I’m here, I am thrilled to be playing with and against my idols. It excites me going to practice every day and learning from great basketball players.
What scares me the most is when I get injured because it stops everything, my development as a player and me performing at my peak.
R: What excites me in the PBA is that I have the opportunity to play against the best players in the Philippines. Nothing scares me, except injuries.
Would you be willing to join show biz?
J: Right now, I’m focused on my basketball career. Perhaps from time to time, if there will be an opportunity to do a TV commercial, why not?
R: If I could excel in it, I would give it a try. But, for now, my priority is my dream career in the PBA.
If you decide to join show biz, who would you want to be your leading lady?
J: Any actress who’s tisay and tall enough for me, so we would look good together.
R: My girlfriend (volleyball star Aby Maraño) or Yen Santos.
How do you handle victory and defeat?
J: I hate losing more than I love winning. During my San Beda days, it was like a sin to lose a game. So, I carry that mentality with me wherever I play.
In defeat, I always blame myself, thinking I should have done this or that.
The day after the game, I work on it—the little things, like the perfect chest pass, reading the defense, etc.
In victory, I always tell myself, “You’re only as good as your last game,” so I’m back to zero. It helps me to be consistent.
R: I can’t sleep after a defeat. Victory is something I cherish. It’s the reward for all my hard work. It makes me feel proud, yet I stay humble. I don’t forget to give back the glory to God.
What’s the craziest thing you did for love?
J: When I was in grade school, I saved my money just to buy her a wallet. Little did she know that I didn’t eat recess for weeks just to buy her that gift.
R: Nothing too crazy yet. But there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for my girlfriend, no matter how crazy it may be.
What’s your take on performance-enhancing drugs?
J: I’m totally against it. It’s tantamount to cheating. Nothing beats clean and natural.
R: I never tried it, and I never will. I don’t take even whey protein. For me, hard work is all it takes.
I prefer to condition my body the natural way. But if other players take PED, I won’t judge them.
How do you handle hecklers?
J: It’s all part of the game. It’s just a matter of how you control the situation and your emotions. The best way to beat these people is by winning.
R: Just play hard and focus on the game. Don’t let them get to you.
What do you find hard to understand about women?
J: Nothing, really. We, men, just have to place ourselves in women’s shoes. They just need our assurance.
R: Whatever happens, women are always right, even when they’re wrong. We just got to trust them.
Aside from basketball, what are you good at?
J: Watching Netflix all day (laughs).
R: Playing Dota, dancing, singing, bowling and billiards. I’m multitalented on and off the court (laughs).
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